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In this excerpt from the film Downside Up (1984) by the UK director Tony Hill, a camera orbits at 90 degrees over a country picnic, with the perspective eventually flipping upside down before disappearing into the ground. What follows is a merry-go-round of quotidian scenes – pigs in a barn, children playing beside a stone wall, a kitchen table – each emerging from darkness, as the filmmaker uses inventive editing and camera-rigging techniques to give the impression of a ‘double-sided ground flipping like a tossed coin’. Technically impressive, the film is also a thought-provoking exploration of point of view, and how our exteroception, especially our relationship to the ground, shapes our perspective.
Director: Tony Hill
Spectacular fractal patterns emerge when electricity meets a wooden surface
A tender poem doubles as a guide to sitting comfortably in one’s own company
Values and beliefs
How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years
War and peace
Before he leaves to go to war, Artem, 18, says goodbye to the man who raised him
A mindbending trip that summons the forgotten women of surrealism
Animals and humans
What the ancient city of Kars looks like from the perspective of its stray dogs
A son of China’s former one-child policy remembers the sibling he never had
Ceramic designs spin to life in a tactile meditation on the art of pottery
A harrowing account of a 1970 ‘leadership seminar’ spotlights self-help’s dark side